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Physics Frontier Center News

September 9, 2015 | PFC | Research News

JQI Physicists Show ‘Molecules’ Made of Light May Be Possible

From NIST TechBeat--It’s not lightsaber time, not yet. But a team including theoretical physicists from JQI and NIST has taken another step toward building objects out of photons, and the findings hint that weightless particles of light can be joined into a sort of “molecule” with its own peculiar force. Researchers show that two photons, depicted in this artist’s conception as waves (left and right), can be locked together at a short distance.

August 21, 2015 | PFC | Research News

Thermometry using an optical nanofiber

Experimental quantum physics often resides in the coldest regimes found in the universe, where the lack of large thermal disturbances allows quantum effects to flourish. A key ingredient to these experiments is being able to measure just how cold the system of interest is. Laboratories that produce ultracold gas clouds have a simple and reliable method to do this: take pictures! The temperature of a gas depends on the range of velocities among the particles, namely the size of the difference between the slowest- and the fastest-moving particles.

July 27, 2015 | PFC | Research News

Interacting Ion Qutrits

Symmetry permeates nature, from the radial symmetry of flowers to the left-right symmetry of the human body. As such, it provides a natural way of classifying objects by grouping those that share the same symmetry. This is particularly useful for describing transitions between phases of matter. For example, liquid and gas phases have translational symmetry, meaning the arrangement of molecules doesn’t change regardless of the direction from which they are observed.

July 27, 2015 | PFC | People News

Gretchen Campbell receives IUPAP Young Scientist Prize

JQI Fellow and NIST Scientist Gretchen Campbell has recently been announced as the IUPAP 2015 Young Scientist Prize recipient in the field of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics. The organization cited her "outstanding contributions in toroidal Bose-Einstein condensates and its application to "atomtronic" circuits." 

July 22, 2015 | PFC | Research News

Qubit Chemistry

A big part of the burgeoning science of quantum computation is reliably storing and processing information in the form of quantum bits, or qubits.  One of the obstacles to this goal is the difficulty of preserving the fragile quantum condition of qubits against unwanted outside influence even as the qubits interact among themselves in a programmatic way. 

June 12, 2015 | PFC | Research News

Collecting Lost Light

Optical fibers are hair-like threads of glass used to guide light. Fibers of exceptional purity have proved an excellent way of sending information over long distances and are the foundation of modern telecommunication systems. Transmission relies on what’s called total internal reflection, wherein the light propagates by effectively bouncing back and forth off of the fiber’s internal surface.

April 23, 2015 | PFC | Research News

Tightening the Bounds on the Quantum Information 'Speed Limit'

If you’re designing a new computer, you want it to solve problems as fast as possible. Just how fast is possible is an open question when it comes to quantum computers, but JQI physicists have narrowed the theoretical limits for where that “speed limit” is. The work implies that quantum processors will work more slowly than some research has suggested. 

March 19, 2015 | PFC | Research News

Sharper Nanoscopy

A new study from Edo Waks' group has shown how to sharpen nanoscale microscopy (nanoscopy) even more by better locating the exact position of the light source. The improvement involves taking into account the phantom dipole induced in the surface of a nanowire by the presence of a nearby quantum dot. The interference of light emitted by the dot with light emitted (in effect) by the phantom distorts the estimation of the dot's true location.

March 19, 2015 | PFC | People News

Paul Julienne awarded William F. Meggers Award

The OSA announced JQI Fellow and NIST scientist Paul Julienne as the 2015 William F. Meggers Award recipient. The William F. Meggers Award recognizes outstanding work in spectroscopy. According to the citation, Julienne is being recognized for "seminal contributions to precision photoassociation and magnetic-Feshbach spectroscopy of ultracold atoms, and the application of these techniques to the formation of cold polar molecules." 

February 26, 2015 | PFC | Research News

Modular Entanglement Using Atomic Ion Qubits

JQI researchers, under the direction of Christopher Monroe have demonstrated modular entanglement between two atomic systems, separated by one meter. Here, photons are the long distance information carriers entangling multiple qubit modules.